5 Important Things I Learned As A Solo Female Traveler In Turkey

5 Important Things I Learned As A Solo Female Traveler In Turkey

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I had a crush on Turkey from the second I arrived bleary-eyed on the in a single day prepare from Bulgaria. A few hours later, I’d completed my first Turkish breakfast, and shortly realized I was in love.

After 5 years and 40 international locations of full-time worldwide journey, Turkey ranks in my prime 10 locations for solo feminine vacationers.

Here’s why:

woman smiling cappadocia turkey

1. It’s Safer Than You Think.

A traveler is 8 instances safer from violent crime in Turkey than within the U.S., even in massive cities like Istanbul and Izmir. 

Based on my private expertise touring throughout Turkey, I’d say you’re extra at risk from kofte kebab meals coma or kitten cuteness publicity than any avenue crime right here. 

Before coming to Turkey, I’d been cautioned time and time once more with obscure fear-mongering: “You know what they say about Turkish men.” Let me inform you: nothing may have been farther from the reality. 

These frequent ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and would possibly stop you from experiencing among the finest hospitality on this planet. 

woman in istanbul

I’ve felt safer strolling down the road alone in Turkey day or night time than in Italy, Spain, or Greece. There have been precisely two gentle avenue harassment incidents in my 5 months touring in Turkey over the previous 12 months – each by foreigners, with Turkish males who didn’t even know me stepping in to assist.

Of course, vacationers ought to take affordable security precautions all over the place they go. The few issues I wouldn’t advise whereas touring in Turkey proper now are:

  • Visiting Istanbul’s Taksim space alone after 10 pm on weekends
  • Leaving your valuables weak to straightforward pickpocketing
  • Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
  • Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships exterior of main chain resorts
  • Visiting sure components of southeastern Turkey close to the Syrian border area (because of the presence of terrorist teams and earthquake devastation)
woman in front of mosque in turkey

2. Women Are Welcome And Protected In Turkish Mosques.

If you do end up strolling alone at night time and feeling uncertain or unsafe for no matter purpose, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you a tremendous protected haven. 

Many massive mosques stay open by way of the night time. As lengthy as you’re dressed modestly, take away your sneakers, and have a shawl useful, you’ll be able to respectfully duck into certainly one of these well-lit homes of worship to make sure of your security at virtually any hour. 

To be clear: I don’t advocate treating a holy masjid as a substitute for a police station. Travelers in apparent hazard ought to name emergency companies. But for these all-too-familiar grey zone conditions that merely give solo feminine vacationers a nasty intestine feeling, it’s good to know that you’ve got protected locations to show to with out ringing any alarm bells. 

woman in hagia sofia istanbul turkey mosque

3. You Don’t Need To Choose Between Tea And Coffee.

It’s no shock that Turkey is a rustic of tea lovers. The common Turk drinks 1,300 cups of tea every year. Turkey is even residence to a tea museum within the form of a 7-story tea glass within the ‘tea capital’ of Rize. It ought to then come as no shock that vacationers will discover themselves supplied a heat welcome tea all over the place they go. 

The stunning factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and occasional. No must take sides. Simply take pleasure in each! 

From iconic Turkish espresso in an Izmir antique shop to artisan roast flat whites in Moda’s plentiful third wave espresso outlets, there’s some java right here for each sort of traveler.

woman drinking turkish tea in cafe

4. Multicultural Turkish Cities Offer A Safe Way To Explore Syrian Culture.

While Syria isn’t a beneficial vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers for the time being, multicultural cities in Turkey actually are. They provide a protected and interesting alternative to strive Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and be taught extra concerning the Syrian diaspora. 

Recommended actions embody:

syrian food fattet hummus

There are about 4 million Syrians residing in Turkey, creating a tremendous multicultural alternative for vacationers. However, it’s necessary to notice that many Turks will nonetheless make destructive feedback to guests about Syrians of their nation. 

“Turkish society’s acceptance of Syrians has largely been transformed into ‘toleration’ rather than an understanding of establishing a practice of living together,” defined a study from UNHCR.

When touring in Istanbul, you might hear locals inform you that Fatih, a predominantly Arab and Syrian neighborhood, is ‘not really Turkey’ or isn’t ‘what it used to be.’ Some Turks will voice considerations about Syrians placing strain on social companies or job markets or bringing what they understand as an incompatibly conservative tradition to their metropolis.

Try to not let this rigidity stop you from having fun with two wonderful cultures in a single journey. 

(*5*)

5. Turkey Is So Much More Than Istanbul.

Many vacationers don’t notice simply how massive Turkey is. With almost 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you possibly can depend, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its in style capital Istanbul. 

Great locations for solo feminine vacationers embody:

  • Bursa
  • Fethiye
  • Izmir
  • Bodrum
  • Kars
  • Antalya
  • Cappadocia
  • Pamukkale
  • Amasra
  • Gaziantep
  • Ankara
  • Mardin

Let the protection and hospitality of Turkey encourage your subsequent nice solo journey!

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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com

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